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THE BRAIN FROM TOP TO BOTTOM. The Stages of Sleep. Each and every night, your brain passes through four stages of sleep.

The Stages of Sleep

Passing through all these stages takes about 90-110 minutes and marks one full sleep cycle. So, if you sleep soundly for eight hours per night, you're getting five full sleep cycles. The Five Stages of Sleep Let's take a closer look at the five stages of sleep: NREM Stage 1 is a light sleep and you are easily woken. When is The Best Time for Lucid Dreaming? Your longest and most memorable lucid dreams will usually occur in the fourth and fifth sleep cycles (after about six hours of sleep) during phases of REM sleep.

The graph shows REM sleep occurring at the end of each sleep cycle. If you don't wake up to an alarm, you'll find you often wake directly from a dream, which makes it much easier to remember. This graph also shows how it's essential for lucid dreamers to get sufficient shuteye and not miss out on REM sleep by cutting sleep short. Take the Neuron Express for a brief tour of consciousness. Wild Mood Swings - Surf the web on a whim. (C) Sean McManus. Improve your Brain Health. Betelgeuze. Consciousness. 3D Stereograms -

Imagining the Tenth Dimension - A Book by Rob Bryanton. The "Johnny Depp Effect" - An evolutionary explanation for homosexuality. Who is more attractive as a mate?

The "Johnny Depp Effect" - An evolutionary explanation for homosexuality

A guy who is kind or a guy who is cruel? A guy who is sensitive or a guy who lacks empathy ? A guy who is physically attractive or a guy who is homely? A guy who can appreciate art or the guy who only appreciates ESPN? Now consider who is more likely to be gay. This exercise in mate preferences (and stereotypes , please excuse us) serves to illustrate a simple point: Gay men are attractive. Two recent articles suggest that these women are on to something. Again, scientists have known for some time that sexual orientation has a genetic component.

It was once hypothesized that such a trait could be maintained via kin selection. Hypotheses demand empirical tests, and when the kin selection hypothesis of homosexuality was tested by David Bobrow and Michael Bailey of Northwestern University and later by Qazi Rahman and Matthew Hull of the University of East London, it was not supported. References. Why Atheists Are More Intelligent Than the Religious. It is natural to believe in God, so more intelligent individuals are more likely to be atheists. Religion is a cultural universal, and its practice is observed in every known human society. However, as I explain in earlier posts (Why do we believe in God? Part I , Part II ), recent evolutionary psychological theories suggest that religiosity may not be an adaptation in itself but may be a byproduct of other evolved psychological mechanisms variously called the “animistic bias” or the “agency-detector mechanisms.”

These theories contend that the human brain has been selected to agency – personal, animate, and intentional forces – behind otherwise natural phenomena whose exact causes cannot be known. This is because agency – and making a Type I error of false positive – makes you a bit paranoid, but being paranoid is often conducive to survival. If these theories are correct, then it means that religiosity – belief in higher powers – may have an evolutionary origin. Perception puzzles, Visual Perception, Optical illusions and Paradoxes. This page illustrates that our visual perception cannot always be trusted.

Perception puzzles, Visual Perception, Optical illusions and Paradoxes

The components of an object can distort the perception of the complete object. Our mind is the final arbiter of truth. Most optical illusions are the result of 1) incongruent design elements at opposite ends of parallel lines, 2) influence of background patterns on the overall design, 3) adjustment of our perception at the boundaries of areas of high contrast, 4) afterimages resulting from eye movements or from kinetic displays, or 5) inability to interpret the spatial structure of an object from the context provided by the picture.

The Parthenon Optical illusions have been studied for millenia. Perpetually ascending staircase. Counter-Rotating Spirals Illusion. More Java applets here.

Counter-Rotating Spirals Illusion

If your browser supports Java, you should see an animated image above (generated by a Java applet embedded on the page). Otherwise, you should see a static image. Brain and Mind. The Evolutionary Psychology of Human Sex and Gender. By Daniel Pouzzner, 2000-Apr-11/12 Sexuality is an indispensable mechanism whereby biological evolution bridged the immense gap between asexual/Lamarckian unicellular organisms, and the now plainly preeminent humans.

The Evolutionary Psychology of Human Sex and Gender

For tens of millions of generations, the lineage leading to humanity has been formed and continued exclusively by sexual procreation. The precise microbiological mechanics of sexuality vary widely from species to species, while the functional consequences - strictly sexual procreation, in which each individual has precisely two parents, each contributing roughly half of the individual's genome - is absolutely conserved. This evidences the overwhelming evolutionary pressure in favor of the sexual mechanism. In this essay, I give an overview of the differences between the male and female human phenotypes, concentrating on mental distinctions.

The basic evolutionary pressures on males and females are identical. The origins of pleasure. Betelgeuze. Time Machine » The Progress of Humanity and Consciousness through Time « Deep Spirits.